Pharmacy Voice, Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) and the Independent Pharmacy Federation (IPF) today challenged policy makers and commissioners to champion community pharmacy.
The 2015 Community Pharmacy Manifesto, launched by Rt Hon Sir Kevin Barron MP, Chair of the All Party Pharmacy Group, at the House of Commons calls for politicians to sign up to five key pledges:
- Encourage patients to think ‘pharmacy first’, and use pharmacy to help relieve pressure on GPs and emergency departments
- Improve patient choice and healthcare by making it easier to commission pharmacy services and backing more national services
- Help improve the public’s health, recognising the accessibility and support community pharmacy can provide
- Enable patients, especially those with long term conditions, to get more from their medicines through better use of community pharmacy
- Help pharmacies to get access to the records, information and support they need to provide more effective and safer care to patients
Rob Darracott, chief executive of Pharmacy Voice explained why the time was right for a sector-wide manifesto: “As the general election approaches, we believe that the role and value of community pharmacy needs to be raised up the political agenda. We know that community pharmacy can and should play a much greater part in improving patient outcomes, but we need our political representatives to help us to champion community pharmacy on behalf of the millions of patients who benefit from our services every day.
We want pharmacy teams to encourage their local MPs and parliamentary candidates to visit the pharmacy and support the five key pledges and we will be encouraging MPs and parliamentary candidates to sign up to the manifesto.”
Chief executive of PSNC Sue Sharpe explained: “The pledges within this manifesto should not bring any surprises – these are the things that pharmacy has been saying for some time and they are the things we are all working towards. With this campaign we hope to persuade our politicians of the benefits of the proposed changes and to gain their support for our manifesto. If we can do that then we will add yet more weight to our case and, I hope, help us to continue getting the best for community pharmacy, developing the service for the benefit of both patients and the NHS.
Chief executive of the IPF, Claire Ward emphasised the key role community pharmacy plays in local communities. “I know from my own experience in Parliament that the best way to raise the profile of community pharmacy is to get MPs through the door and seeing the services provided in their own constituency to their voters. Community pharmacy has shown through this Manifesto that we can work together and I am confident that this will have a real impact on grass roots pharmacy.”
Notes to editors
The Community Pharmacy Manifesto can be found on our website and at www.pharmacymanifesto.com
Pharmacy Voice was formed by the three largest community pharmacy owner associations to create a stronger, unified voice for their independent and multiple members. The founding members of Pharmacy Voice are the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp), the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) and the National Pharmacy Association (NPA).
PSNC promotes and supports the interests of all NHS community pharmacies in England and is recognised by the Secretary of State for Health as the body that represents NHS pharmacy contractors. PSNC works closely with Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs) to support their role as the local NHS representative organisations.
The IPF provides a representative and powerful voice for independent pharmacists. It exclusively represents independent pharmacies and encourages independent pharmacy ownership.
For further information please contact Salix on 020 8675 4779 or 07725 555030